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 Copyright Infringement: Tips & Tricks To Protect Your Music

In the era of internet and the crescendo of digital music platforms, the way we groove to tunes has transformed. It’s like we’ve all become DJs, spinning tracks with a click and sharing rhythm like confetti. Yet, this musical freedom has birthed a cacophony of copyright chaos.

Imagine a world where your beats are stolen, your melodies pirated, and your musical soul scattered across unauthorized platforms. This article aims to help you in navigating the maze of copyright infringement.

Hitting the Right Note

Imagine, you’re surfing the web, vibing to your favorite tunes, and suddenly, you sense a dissonance. Someone’s playing your tune without a backstage pass! What do you do? Quick, hit the brakes and report the infringement.

You– artist, label, or creator of the melody – must file a claim with the Digital Service Providers (DSPs). It’s the maestro’s swift move to prompt action. These DSPs play the role of bouncers; they swiftly remove the gatecrasher and alert the relevant distributor. Proof of copyright from the label or artist is demanded. If the alleged infringer fumbles, unable to produce proof, the track stays in the shadows. The distributor might even part ways with the rogue client, withdrawing their entire playlist from the stage. Spotting the imposter empowers you. Now, you can chase owed revenue and conduct the legal symphony.

Anti-Piracy Measures

In the tempest of music creation, artists and labels arm themselves with anti-piracy measures. Think of it as musical self-defense, a groove-guard to protect income and preserve the sanctity of your music.

Understanding music copyright is more like jamming with friends; everyone should know the key, the chords, and when to stop.

Eligible for copyright:

  • Song lyrics
  • Completed works (songs, jingles, symphonic pieces)

Not Eligible for copyright:

  • Song titles
  • Chord progressions
  • Incomplete or unfinished works

Once you’ve tuned into the copyright melody, let’s dive into the fun part – how to copyright your tunes.

Ways To Copyright Your Music

1-Compose a Physical Symphony

The starting chord is simple: jot down or record your music. It could be lyrics on paper, a melody on sheet music, or a digital device capturing your vocal or instrumental brilliance.

This is your copyright claim’s opening act. It’s almost like magic; as soon as your creation hits paper, it’s already somewhat copyrighted. But wait, there’s an encore!

2- Create A Time Capsule For Your Music

Copyright has a time dimension. Sure, your music exists in the metaphysical realm, but proving when it was born – that’s the encore challenge. You need a time stamp, a proof of your musical existence. Imagine it as creating a musical time capsule.

  • Upload your creation on platforms like YouTube or SoundCloud. They’re like digital timekeepers, recording when your music steps into the limelight.
  • Email the files to yourself, creating a digital footprint with the date.

And here’s a classic: the ‘poor man’s copyright.’ Mail a copy to yourself, sealed and stored, a testament to your music’s birthdate. While it might sound ancient, it’s still a hit in the UK. For the US folks, it’s time for a more formal dance.

3- File The Copyright Forms- Get The Legal Groove On

It’s showtime! Your music has an identity crisis – a split personality. It’s not just the beats; it’s also the composition. So, there are two forms in the spotlight: Form PA (Performing Arts) for the composition and Form SR (Sound Recording) for the beats.

  • If you own both the composition and recording, fill out Form SR. It’s like a one-man band, but on paper.

Print, mail, or electronically submit these forms to the US Copyright Office (USCO). Yes, there’s a filing fee, but guess what? You can group multiple songs under one application – ideal for the album maestros.

4- Dish Out The Splits – Who Gets The Money?

Your tunes hit the charts, and now the moolah dance begins. The splits – who gets what?

  • For physical sales (CDs, vinyl), it’s the industry standard: 91% to the master (sound recording) and 9% to the publishing (composition).
  • For music sync (movies, ads), it’s a 50/50 groove between publishing and masters.

5- Cashing in on the Copyright Jingle

Now that your music is copyrighted, sign up with music collection societies to ensure you grab every penny you deserve. Or let Ditto Music Publishing hit the right notes for you.

So, musicians and maestros, remember these groovy steps. Keep the beats, ditch the cheats, and let your music play loud, proud, and legally in the grand amphitheatre of copyright protection. Aumirah provides copyright services to all your creative assets. Backed by decades of expertise in business law, litigation, and intellectual property, our firm is ready to discuss and address your IP and social media concerns effectively. You may reach us at www.aumirah.com.


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Anasuya Pradhan
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